This statue is in one of the alcoves on the right side of the church. It is called the ‘Pieta’ and is the only statue signed by Michelangelo. It is hard to capture in a picture, but this is truly an amazing statue – it really puts you into the emotions of Mary at the time of the crucifixion.
Here’s a picture of the dome from the inside. While I was in Vatican City, we got to tour the catacombs underneath the Vatican, which was fascinating. We were even feet away from the bones of St. Peter – a truly aweing and prayerful experience. If you were to drop a penny from the top of this dome, and hypothetically assuming it could go through objects, it would eventually land on the grave of St. Peter. He really is the rock our church is built upon.
This is the stained glass behind the secondary altar (behind the main altar) at St. Peter’s. It is surrounded by intricate gold statues and decorations, but unfortunately, I couldn’t get a picture of that. We celebrated mass while facing this, which was awesome. I really like the stained glass holy spirit – because that’s where the sun streams in, and it makes the holy spirit seem more ‘real’. It was a great experience to celebrate mass in the Vatican – even if it was in Italian.
This is a view from the top! You can take narrow, claustrophobic stairs very high up on the dome of St. Peter’s. It’s a great view when you finally get to the top. This is a view of the courtyard in front of the Vatican. The arcs have tons of statues of saints upon them, and the obelisk is said to be the last witness to the crucifixion of Peter, since it was supposedly there.
Another random fact that I thought was crazy about the Vatican is that every painting and decoration you see is a mosaic – not a fresco, as is popular in Italy. So this even, is a mosaic, which is crazy. If you look (pardon the dark photo), you can see Jesus’ feet through the water. I feel that would be hard even if it was a painting, but could you imagine creating this with tiny stones?
Going to St. Peter’s was an intensely amazing Catholic and tourist-y experience. It was amazing to see what people have created for our God, and weird to think how these majestic overwhelming creations don’t even come close to the majesty of our God.